Scans of the brain taken when subjects were reading Shakespeare, Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot show that activity is heightened compared to what occurs when reading "straightforward" texts in everyday language. Apparently this leads to a beneficial effect on the mind, with attention engaged and moments of self-reflection triggered - so a recent study shows.
"Serious literature acts like a rocket-booster to the brain," says Professor Philip Davis, "the research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and the staid alike.”
Another good reason to Brush up your Shakespeare!